Sunday, December 16, 2012

Moms (ALL) in Prayer

Good evening. Like you, I am so at a loss for words and heartbroken about the tragedy in Newton, CT at Sandy Hook Elementary.

I have had a desire to start a “Moms in Prayer” group at Brookshire and unfortunately have just not taken the initiative to do just that. I get emails for the group and the suggestion of a group prayer time on Monday morning for our school and schools nationwide, especially the community of Sandy Hook Elementary was received this weekend.

This is an invite to take some time in devotion and prayer. From the comfort of your home before children awake and the Monday morning rush takes place- I am aiming for somewhere between 5:30-7:00AM- sit quietly, read below and we will pray in One Accord.

Praise—Praising God for who He is, His attributes, His name or His character.

Attribute: God Our Stronghold

Definition: fortified place, fortress, refuge

Scripture(s): 2 Samuel 22:1-3; Psalm 18:2; Proverbs 18:10

Thoughts: God is the One we run to in times of trouble…and always!

Confession—Silently confessing your sins to the God who forgives.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NASB)

Thanksgiving—Thanking God for what He has done.

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people. 1 Timothy 2:1

Thank you, Jesus, that you are our Rock eternal. Our Savior and Refuge.

Thank you Jesus, that you ARE victorious. That you have given us a free will and it is our choice to accept or reject you.

Thank you for the first responders who bravely entered the school and dealt with the initial trauma.

Thank you for the teachers who bravely protected the children in their classroom.

Thank you for every life spared.

Intercession—Coming to God in prayer on behalf of others.

Scripture: Philippians 4:6-7 May _____not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present his/her requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard ______’s heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”


For the families of those who lost their lives: That they would turn their lives to you, Father. That in their sorrow you would grant them strength and grace to make it through the coming days and months. That they would return to you, Lord, with all their heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. That mercy and comfort would be extended to their tender hearts. That this Christmas our families that are grieving would recognize the glorious peace and comfort that comes through faith in you.

For the siblings of those who lost their lives: That Our Father would protect them from the enemy of their soul. That they would find comfort in their family and in the knowledge of your great mercy. That Jesus would be present in their sleep and the darkness of their heart would be warmed by His light. That our Abba Father would comfort them during difficult days ahead.

The family of Adam Lanza: That they would not be judged as they mourn the loss of their mother, brother and victims in this tragedy. That the Lord would give the Sandy Hook School families and community strength to forgive. That the Lord would draw the Lanza family into a saving relationship through the blood of Jesus Christ.

The students, faculty and administration of the Sandy Hook Elementary School: For the Lord to bestow mercy to the children's healing hearts as they mourn the loss of their classmates, administrators, teachers and their perceived safety. That Our Lord would restore the school classrooms with spiritual and emotional healing. That children and families would cling to Jesus as their Rock, Fortress and Deliverer. For Christ to be present in the rebuilding of lives and programs in the wake of this tremendous tragedy.

All of our schools and communities across the USA: That we Christian Americans would humble ourselves, pray, seek Our Lord's face and turn from our sinful ways. That the Lord would hear from heaven and forgive our sin and heal our land. That this tragedy would glorify God through a fierce Holy Spirit led cross-country revival. For repentant hearts that would cling to Jesus. We pray that the Lord would raise up women to join the mighty army of prayer warrior moms and grandmoms that stand in the gap for our children and schools.

Revival in our schools: That every student would have the opportunity to hear of the grace and mercy afforded to us by Our Lord Jesus Christ. That Christian students would be beacons of Christ's light to those who are living in darkness. For the Holy Spirit to move among the hallways of each school in the United States. For students to respond to God's great love and everlasting peace.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen". Ephesians 3: 20-21

Sunday, September 16, 2012

School Bells and Miles

Well, we are mid way through first quarter already.  WHAAAA???  Crazy.  Mid quarter reports come home this week.  It's nice to be back in a school routine and structured activities.  Although I sooo very much miss walking down the block to school.  Ackkkk!  My most favorite thing about our school and now it's gone.  Just for a year though!

Brookshire is gone.  Well, except for the "new roof" cafeteria.  Remember those  hurricanes in 2004??  Well, the cafeteria had to get a new roof.  So while they are building a brand spanking new facility (that was way overdue)....the cafeteria will just be renovated.  So dumb.  The girls had a fun day with classmates on the last days of school "saying good-bye" to the building...

We are "off campus" this year.  It's not any worse than our old campus.  The girls could take a bus so we gave that a try.  We tried for a week.  Too many things I didn't love it about and too many things Lydia : )  didn't love about it....and for just a wasn't worth it to me to "force" the issue.  So I drive them in and actually our little :10 ride is LOVELY.  We chit chat and I listen.

Lina is in 4th grade.  Which just blows my mind.  It's a big year for her.  She has two teachers for homeroom (they job share....kind of crazy, but it works).  One of her teachers is a good friend's mom and a good friend of mine.  Both teachers are sweet.  Lina is in the school chorus and giving the violin a try in the school orchestra.  Music is her thing.  She loves music.  I think it's time to stop dipping toes in this and that and focus on her love of music.  We are looking for violin lessons.  HOWEVER, she is playing volleyball at the Y.....and I am coaching the team.  So cute.  Great girls.  It's really a lot of fun and Lina is enjoying that as well.

Lydia is in 1st grade.  My little Lyddie bug.  School is not Lyd's most favorite.  Her teacher is the same teacher Lina had in 1st grade and we just love the now, Mrs. Lewis.  She is so dear to us all.  Lydia struggles with reading and reallllllly isn't terribly motivated by ANYthing to read.  Lyd's personality and her "if it's on her mind out of her mouth it comes" makes me laugh (most days) and her snuggles wake me up EVERY single night.  : )  Lydia is giving gymnastics a try this year- after enjoying the Olympics- and "she already knows how to dance" : )

Lila is in PreK (or VPK here in FL) at Trinity.  Still a little bit. Lila goes to school M-F 9-12...although we will be taking 1 or 2 Fridays a month off from school.  We just started back to speech and OT this week also after a 6 month hiatus.  Lila still has her little hand flapping tic going on and some other little behaviors that I hope being back in therapy will help us.  While she is "so cute"....eventually all that will get her made fun of and really I just want to be able to help her.

Me?  Ohh, I am just fine.  : )  Still training faithfully for this half marathon in November.  Today I went 7 miles.  It took me an hour and :45.  So that's half my race distance.  YIKES!  My hips are killing me, but I am faithfully out there waking at 5:45 every morning or at the Y for treadmill and Zumba!  : )  Feeling pretty good though.  I have been having a little anxiety and weepiness lately....about "looking back this time last year"'s been a year since my mom said those words, and it's coming up soon when Carmen shared her words, and before I know it- it will be December and a year since I HEARD those words.  But a friend said to look back at how a year ago all that was going on, but look how God heard, answered, and has taken care of those prayers.  And she is right.  I praise God for His healing hand.

Friday, August 10, 2012

All Clear!

I have had 4 PET scans since December.  I know the routine and really they aren't terrible.  The worst part is getting a blood draw and IV started for the dye.  Being in "the tube" for :20 isn't a big deal.  It's all the thinking of "what ifs" and the dreaded waiting 24-48 hours to have that appointment with my oncologist that I can't bear.  I thought I was going to throw up all day today.

Today I met with my oncologist to discuss my PET from 2 days ago.  I go in spurts- confident in HIS HEALING HAND or completely can't get a grip on my emotions or FEAR of what if.  This week was fear.    Dr. Z walked in the room and I thought I would throw up.  My heart rate was 110 and he knew I was a wreck.  "Your PET scan is clear as usual" and I lost it.  Great conversation followed though- I HATE being at that clinic.  I hate being in that office.  Seeing this very kind and good dr makes me ILL.  I told him that it was 8 months ago today that we met.  He then said, "it's going to be 4 years and 4 months till this relationship is over"....till the word "CURED" is said.  He was very encouraging saying that I have been in remission for 7 months and he doesn't expect anything different, but none of this is 100%.  And the reasonable side of me KNOWS that and BELIEVES that, but the mommy who doesn't want her girls to go through this crap again EVER......  Dr.  Z also told me to get the first PET scan of the day and email him the day I get it....he will then email me THAT DAY with the results.  And make appointments on Fridays- there was hardly anyone in the clinic.

I have an appointment in November and will do another PET scan.  Sigh.  Then it will be one in 6 months. And from there I didn't want to know anymore.  I hate cancer.  And really.  I KNOW that I had a "pretty easy" course of action and for that I AM SO THANKFUL FOR!!

I have been feeling so great these days.  AdvoCare. Ever hear of it??  CHECK IT OUT.  I was introduced a year ago and started using a few products.  Then a "curveball" came my way and I didn't continue what I was using other than 1 product all through chemo.  Well, I have been eating so much better, exercising faithfully, and adding these supplements to my day.  If you are looking for something to help strengthen yourself- ask me about this My AdvoCare page   And a plug for the "My Fitness Pal" app for iphone.  CHECK THAT OUT!  Keeps me so accountable and I have some cheerleaders and support there.  I am confident that the 12 lbs that I have lost in July will only continue to melt away.

Being able to "run" 5 miles 3x a week has been HUGE.  Next week I will start my training with LLS Team in Training.  There is a dinner on Wednesday where I have the honor of being an "Honored Hero" for the season.  My friend Debbie has been walking with me at dark o'clock in the morning 3 x a week.  If you don't have an organization that you support, may I recommend LLS through my Team in Training page???  I will participate in the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon November 10.

Next step?  My useless port comes out on Monday morning.  I have to be at FL Hospital at 5:30 in the AM.  My procedure is at 7:30.  That's it.  Last bit of "this".


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Life Renewed

We are slowly getting back to "normal" around here and really enjoying a summer break. 

Summer started off with a visit with my good friend, Denise and her family, the day school let out.  We enjoyed a pizza night and kids playing.  Denise's babies (ha) were born in Russia and she traveled just a few months before we did.  It was neat to see our "Russia girls" playing and being friends.

The following week my mom and dad came to their time share for 5 days.  Ahhh.  It was so nice to be together.  We were quite the group though.  My mom has a funky skin rash that doctors aren't quite sure what's going on- so she kinda stayed out of the sun.  My dad scraped his shins pretty badly the week before so he was avoiding the water.  Me.  Not at the pool :15 I decide to be "fun mom" and go down the water slide with Lila.  I landed and saw stars.  Something pulled, zig zagged, SOMEthing not right in my knee.  Ugggghhh.  I sucked it up for two days and finally went and got an x ray.  Nothing torn, but I sprained it.  That is slowly on the mend.  Annoying.  But we managed to have a good week.  The girls LOVE being out at Orange Lake.  And they did a sleep over- as I had an early doctor appointment one morning so I went home.  Always fun to be with Grammy and Papa....and it's been a long time.

This past week we took a trip to Blowing Rock, NC.  Ahhhh.  It was PER-fect.  Just perfect.  We left at o'dark thirty in the am and pulled into the driveway of our mountain get away about 4PM.  Rich, Mary, and kiddos (and two dogs) were there also.  We enjoyed meals, sights, and s'more making with them.  For Lina's b-day (my baby big girl turned 9!!) we spent the day at the creek playing- making dams and chutes to tube through.  The kids had a blast.  Lydia surprised me the most.  Lina I expect to enjoy it, get dirty, climb, swim, repeat.  Lydia not so much.  BUT she LOVED the creek.  She got dirty, picked up rocks, played in tube, EVERYthing.  It was so fun to see her enjoy the outdoors.  Lila enjoys anything she does.  She loved throwing rocks in the water...and sometimes hitting a sister or friend.  YIKES.  Still some learning to do.  We went gem mining, blueberry picking, went on two 2  mile hikes, Linville Caverns, ate too much, enjoyed a happy hour or two, and just enjoyed a fire at night, some fireworks, and being together. 

I loved escaping from the thoughts of lymphoma.  Ugh.  I didn't think one minute about dr appointments, medicine, port, PET scans, NOTHING.  It was refreshing.  Then Thursday rolled around and I started thinking about our trip home and what the week ahead held.  I have a port flush this week and an appointment with my new primary doc- whom I just love.  My PET is scheduled for August 8.  Once I hear that is "all clear" I think, (oh I hope) I will take a deep breath and trust that this is GONE and not coming back.

I joined Team in Training with Leukemia Lymphoma Society and will "run" a half marathon in November.  I get to be an "Honored Hero".  So funny because the first thing I said when all "this" went down in that I wasn't doing races or any of that....and here I am with a goal of raising $1, 500 to rid the world of this crap.  I am hoping to get out to the training sessions this week and some on my own.  My goal is to lose 30 lbs and finish that blooming race.  Let's Do it!  GO TEAM!

This is my fundraising page

Summer is flying by.  I hate that.  I had such goals/plans for the summer and it's going so fast.  What I want to do:
  • play with girls
  • memory verses each week
  • deliberate devotion time
  • cursive writing with Lina
  • help Lydia with reading
  • therapies with Lila
  • clean and organize the house
  • purge
  • embrace cooking healthy meals
  • exercise- and get into a routine with going to the Y
  • stay healthy
We have touched upon everything, but hoping this week we can make more happen.

Thankful for each day though- that 's for sure.  My friend, Kendra, is still making great progress in Seatle following her stroke.  I remember the fight she has and my troubles....don't seem so big.

Here are some pictures of NC!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Done. Now Beginning.

What a week! What. A. Week. Last Monday I had a port study done. Dumb thing hasn't cooperated at all. So I do this study. Radiologist tells me that it shouldn't be used. Oh. Great. I was to have chemo #7 on Wednesday. Wednesday came. I showed up for Rituxin meds. I was able to get that med because it's not a chemo med. Had a consult with Dr. Z and he agreed not good to use port- there is a clot at tip which acts like a dam when nurse tried to draw blood and my obnoxious veins. He also told me I would get a PICC line done on Thursday. Again. Oh. Good. Thursday. We went to FL Hospital and met two ladies who do nothing but PICC lines all day. Weird. I didn't care for the procedure. At all. It didn't hurt but I was fully aware and didn't love the pressure on my arm or the trouble the tech was having getting this thing in. After about :30 it was decided again that my veins are uncooperative all over my body. I had the best cry in the hallway. Full blown sob. While walking over to clinic I just kept talking...praying. Then I was told no chemo for today. Thursday night was awful. I was scared. I was confused. I was completely unsettled. Friday. I had a consult with oncologist to figure out what in the world we do now. Dr Z came in and told me my PET scan was clear again. That was great news. Dr Z then said "that's it- you're done with treatment". What? That was not the conversation I had played out in my mind. Dr went on to talk statistics with me. I have the best lymphoma to have. What. Ever. I responded textbook like and this crud is gone. Praise God. I can't "go there" emotionally yet. I will. One day at a time....

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Not So Much DONE

I am having blogger issues.  Hopefully this posts though.

It's April.  Just finished round 6- which I really was hoping would be the end of treatment for now.  BUT it's not.

My very dear Cristy Jean arrived a week ago to take on round 6 with me.  So blessed!  Her big kids (Z is 16 now!! and G 14) gave their blessing for their momma to head to FL during Holy Week.  And I was so blessed by this act of love!!  Cristy was my college roommate for 2 years in IL and then we both transferred schools- she to WI and I in NY.  So really the 22 years that we have been best frieds has been long distance.  I love my time with Cristy.  She makes me want to be a better person.  She makes me think.  She makes me LAUGH!!

So Cristy and I headed to chemo.  It's overwhelming for a friend to walk into "this" live and in person.  She was great though.  I was getting upset- she held my hand...pulled out Mad Libs....or just made me laugh.  I had port troubles and Cristy was very defensive for mother cub.  Friday was disturbing though- with all the flushing and trying to get a blood return from port when the nurse took needle out...the blood came.  All over my shirt.  So gross.  So disturbing.  But we high tailed it out of there, flew home so I could change, C grabbed Panera lunch, picked me back up, and we headed to see "Mirror Mirror" so we could enjoy some Julia (we would watch Pretty Woman over and over....and our phrase is "take care of you").

It was a different Good Friday and Easter weekend this year.  I had a beautiful 5 days with my friend though.  Cristy was great- dyed eggs with the girls, took them outside alllll day so I could snooze a bit, made sure we all ate and drank, and generally just helped with the every day things that I don't have the energy for right now.  It was a blessing and a treat to have her here.  Lina had to sing at the sunrise service so having Cristy here that morning was so helpful getting everyone up, dressed, and out the door before 6AM was so nice.  (and my Lina had a beautiful little solo that made me tear up)

I hated saying good bye.  We talked about our next get together- and hopefully this summer Lydia and I will get to WI for a long weekend.  Then again Lina will want to go also.....and really we should all vacation together : )

After a tearful good bye at the airport we headed over to Casa de Ramiz.  We usually go for an afternoon swim on Easter but this year nothing is like we used to do so I didn't even think about it.  We didn't pack suits or anything because we were just going to stop by quickly.  Welllllll, it was like normal times and we chatted and laughed and didn't just talk about cancer or was soooo nice.  I finally caved and just let the girls swim in their clothes.  They had a great time with that and Laura and her sweetie Bryan were good sports swimming with the girls.

Girls were sound asleep before 7PM and that was my goal : )

Then Monday rolled around.  Bigs had school and Lila was home with me.  I was doing some picking up and we had just started lunch when the doorbell rang.  And when I went to the door.....there was little Abigail and William Lunden like they lived down the street. Allll the way from NY.  And there was my Dianne and her hubby Scott hiding.  Crazy.  They took the auto train from NY and surprised me.  Yes, they did.  They are here all week.  Dianne.  My Dianne.  I have known Dianne forever.  Her aunt lived across the street from me and we always played together as kids.  We are 2 years apart in age.  HS we may have drifted a little, but since I was probably 11 years old she has been my bff.  They are staying at a hotel nearby.  The kids played so nicely after school yesterday.  Going to lay low today- maybe swim after school.  And I think we may play hookie on Thursday.  ; )

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Or How About.....

I had today allll planned out in my mind.  I had the converstaions played out and everything......

OR how about this-

PA walks in to talk to me, "The home stretch, you are in the home stretch now".
"Yes, I am.  Last cycle April 4, 5, and 6" and I jokingly said something about having port removed the week after.  (I KNOW that isn't happening)

"Dr. Z hasn't talked about possibly cycle 7 & 8"??? says the PA.
"No.  No he hasn't.  It started at 4 and went to 6.  But no mention of 7&8".

And the converstation continued like that.  I didn't cry or become upset.  There is also talk of "maintenence therapy for a YEAR" (which could be 1 med 1 day every 4 weeks)

Dr. Z came in and I began questioning him.  He then said we will wait and see what repeat PET scan looks like next month.  Fine.  I asked him about if this is a possibility with "no activity"....a clean PET in February?  He rattled off some statistics and research and mentioned how not having radiation....and blah blah blah blah.  And finally, that nothing would be decided today.  Then he mentioned how healthy I look, what a great color I had on, and I am doing great.  So.  I am taking that last sentence with me for a week of spring break playing.....and then doing some research and what not for myself.

Don't get me wrong- if 8 is what keeps me, oh alive, and not dealing with this crap ever again- I'll do it all tomorrow.  Just was not expecting that today.  At all.